Hare and Hounds goes Boho

Freakiest venue news of the year, perhaps, is that the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath is now under the same ownership as the Bulls Head in Moseley. This is not necessarily a bad thing – the H&H is an important venue on the Birmingham music scene and needs to be kept going – but the pub always had a rather grotty vibe to it in a good way and the range of acts performing was always somewhat random. It was also somewhere up and coming promoters could hire for a reasonable fee and, unlike other venues, didn’t have a house promoter taking the best nights.

There’s a short news piece here:

Marketing and events consultancy Big Cat Group and businessman Adam Regan have teamed up to produce leisure group Leftfoot Venues.

The partnership has already developed the the Bull’s Head in Moseley and is now investing pounds 500,000 in the redevelopment of the 19th-century public house the Hare and Hounds, in Kings Heath. Leftfoot hopes the Hare and Hounds will be a larger sister site to the Bull’s Head, which was reopened as a live music venue in May 2006.

Big Cat Group marketing director Anthony Tattum said: “The location of the Hare and Hounds is ideal for a project of this type, situated on one of the UK’s busiest high streets, it will be the only pub in Kings Heath that caters for the suburb’s increasing number of young bohemian and savvy professionals”.

Mr Regan said: “In a similar vein to the Bulls Head, we are aiming to cover a broad spectrum of musical tastes at the Hare & Hounds.”.

The pub re-opens on Friday 18th May with a Grand Launch Weekend. Here’s the flyer which details the bands and DJs playing. I’ll be watching this with interest!

(It occurred to me I might be perceived as being negative about this. I’m not. I’m just a little conflicted.)

Update: They have a website which lists the forthcoming gigs.


  1. “It was also somewhere up and coming promoters could hire for a reasonable fee and, unlike other venues, didn’t have a house promoter taking the best nights.”

    I think this is the important bit, really. Well, no, them continuing to sell £1 tins of lager from the upstairs bar is the important bit, but this is the second most important bit.

    There are already bad signs, too (13th post down et seq.). Still, like yourself I’m trying to refrain from cynicism until the new place has been running for a bit and we have a decent idea what it’s all about.

  2. i’m not so much conflicted as disappointed. the hare and hounds was a great pub pub – as good for watching football in as having a gig upstairs. I’ve promoted and played the odd (very) night there myself in the past – and i can’t see the Bull’s Head style fitting in with what i liked about the place.

    “young bohemian and savvy professionals” – i really hope they don’t mean me.

  3. I work for the owners (i’m not going to try and hide it!) and I just wanted to add that we are really trying to attract a range of acts upstairs but at the end of the day the diversity can only work if it pulls in the numbers… we will put on what people want to make sense, its all about supply and demand!

    As for the atmosphere of the venue, we’ve worked really hard to retain the pubs character and like to think we have restored the features and complimented them with key bits of 70’s furniture. Put simply the way it was (dark and dingy)… put a lot of people off.

    We hope we’ve made it more accessible to people…

    I manage the myspace page (www.myspace.com/hare_and_hounds) and communicate on a daily basis to bands of a various genres. We try to support local talent and welcome diversity.

    Give us a chance ; )

  4. Reasonable, still, but a lot more fiddly than a pound…

    I was going to go and have a look on the Saturday just gone, what with The Courtesy Group playing and so on, but things got ahead of me. Soon, though.

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